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  1. #1
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    Looking for some opinions on new Bike

    Hi everyone,
    I have been lurking on this forum for a long time, but thought I would create an account and pose a question for you. For the last couple years I have been commuting to work on my FS Specialized mountain bike (20 miles each way). It does not have lock-outs, so I have been wasting energy on a squishy suspension. Great for a workout, but cuts down on my speed getting up hills.

    Anyway, I have been test riding some bikes, and would like some opinions from you guys.

    Specialized Awol - Steel Touring bike with drops
    Specialized Sirrus Elite - Aluminum Hybrid
    Novara Buzz - Steel Hybrid
    Jamis Coda Sport - Steel with Steel Fork
    Jamis Coda Elite - Steel with Carbon Fork

    I was also looking at the Marin Muirwoods 29er, but have not had a chance to test ride one yet.

    Out of all of these, I found the Jamis Coda Sport to be the one that got the biggest grin on my face, and its one of the cheapest ones in the list thus far too! I like Steel, tends to be less harsh on the road, and I like and need something rather robust to commute with. I have disc brakes now and love them, but wondering if going back to v-brakes would be ok. I do notice a bit more maintenance with disc.

    Anyways, done rambling, any thoughts would be appreciated! Looking to buy in the next few weeks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    I think you answered your own question. You like the steel frame Jamis Coda, and it costs less than some of the others. V brakes work, inexpensive to replace pads when they wear out, and are easy to set up. I say just buy the Jamis and don't look back. IMO, it would be a perfectly decent commuter.

  3. #3
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    I tend to agree with you. and I can upgrade the components down the line when they wear out. I am wondering though, the Novara Buzz and the Muirwoods both weigh at about 30lbs for a 19in frame, the Coda Sport is about 26lbs. Do you think I would notice the difference going up the hills with a 4lb difference? The reason I ask is that both these 30lb'ers have slightly better components than the Coda, and "MAYBE" last longer? idk, I could be blowing smoke. Just wanted to speak what I am thinking and make sure I am on the right track.

  4. #4
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    I agree with MRT2, grab the one that grabbed you! Components are consumable, you can switch them as they wear out.
    Last edited by Wanderer; 04-10-15 at 02:07 PM.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


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  5. #5
    Senior Member mwl001's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyd. View Post
    I tend to agree with you. and I can upgrade the components down the line when they wear out. I am wondering though, the Novara Buzz and the Muirwoods both weigh at about 30lbs for a 19in frame, the Coda Sport is about 26lbs. Do you think I would notice the difference going up the hills with a 4lb difference? The reason I ask is that both these 30lb'ers have slightly better components than the Coda, and "MAYBE" last longer? idk, I could be blowing smoke. Just wanted to speak what I am thinking and make sure I am on the right track.
    It's easy to get caught up in component quality, but usually futile in my opinion. They're basically consumables depending on how much you ride, and also not terribly expensive to replace on an entry level bike. Only let them sway you if YOU can tell a difference in how they shift/brake. Just because they're one level higher, etc. don't let that make the decision for you. I rode bikes with Altus/Acera/Alivio derailleur and honestly I couldn't tell the difference when properly tuned, so I wasn't going to let it make my decision. Weight is something you can't easily shave later on, unlike componentry.

  6. #6
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    MHO, unless you are looking at major upgrade in components, like disc brakes, or complete 105 or higher, it's a waste of money to worry what's on a new bike. Far more important to get the bike that fits, and the one that trips your trigger.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
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  7. #7
    Senior Member ColonelSanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyd. View Post
    I tend to agree with you. and I can upgrade the components down the line when they wear out. I am wondering though, the Novara Buzz and the Muirwoods both weigh at about 30lbs for a 19in frame, the Coda Sport is about 26lbs. Do you think I would notice the difference going up the hills with a 4lb difference? The reason I ask is that both these 30lb'ers have slightly better components than the Coda, and "MAYBE" last longer? idk, I could be blowing smoke. Just wanted to speak what I am thinking and make sure I am on the right track.
    Most of the weight difference would be due to the disc brakes and larger tyres on the Novara Buzz & Marin Muirwoods.

    All of them would be good bikes, you need to decide which one feels better to you when you ride it & whether you want disc brakes and/or the bigger tyres(to start with anyway).

    Just on the spec sheets and how they look, I would strongly favour the Marin Muirwoods, but that could all change with a test ride.
    You can have my Disc Brakes, when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
    Most of the weight difference would be due to the disc brakes and larger tyres on the Novara Buzz & Marin Muirwoods.

    All of them would be good bikes, you need to decide which one feels better to you when you ride it & whether you want disc brakes and/or the bigger tyres(to start with anyway).

    Just on the spec sheets and how they look, I would strongly favour the Marin Muirwoods, but that could all change with a test ride.
    I think I need to test ride the Muirwoods, I love the look of it, and you make a good point that the tires are bigger and it has disc brakes, which probably account for the 29 lbs vs 26 of the Coda.

    Have you seen the Fairdale Weekender Archer? I love the look of that, price is good, but hesitant about having a single chain ring. I live in the Seattle area, so we have our fair share of hills.

  9. #9
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    A sub-25 lb bike is noticeably lighter than a 29 lb bike. I get the steel is real attraction but will interject that steel also is more corrosion-prone (commuting can be very corrosive) and while steel does have a lively ride quality, aluminum frames are more responsive to rider input and pound-for-pound are better for climbing because they transmit energy more efficiently.

    Definitely get the bike you like but don't underestimate the benefit of a lightweight bike. Interestingly, the bike revolution in the 70's started with the import of light bikes from England and Europe. In a sense, Americans owe a lot to the appeal of lightweight bikes because they really jump-started a national biking tradition (among adults especially) that continues today.
    If you have to force it... you probably shouldn't.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ColonelSanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeyd. View Post
    Have you seen the Fairdale Weekender Archer? I love the look of that, price is good, but hesitant about having a single chain ring. I live in the Seattle area, so we have our fair share of hills.
    Hadn't heard of he Fairdale Weekender Archer before, but it looks great.

    Only downside that I can see is that it might struggle with hills due to the gearing.
    You can have my Disc Brakes, when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

  11. #11
    Senior Member camjr's Avatar
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    Test ride enough bikes, and the right bike will find you rather than the other way around. The Jamis is a great ride. It sounds like it found you...

  12. #12
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    Ended up test riding a Marin Muirwoods a couple weeks ago and I loved it even more than the Jamis Coda! I didnt notice the additional weight of the bike (its about 29lbs), and the disc brakes feel pretty good even though they are Tektro's! Very happy!

  13. #13
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    Congrats on finding your new bike. I haven't had the chance to test ride the Muirwoods but from what I read it sounds like a great bike. Enjoy the ride

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